Four men jailed for assaulting Covid-19 task force members

By Hoang Phong   April 19, 2020 | 11:57 pm PT
Four men jailed for assaulting Covid-19 task force members
Four men stand trial in Quang Ninh Province for assaulting Covid-19 task force members on April 18, 2020. Photo courtesy of Cong An Nhan Dan newspaper.
A Quang Ninh court has sentenced four men to between six to nine months in jail for assaulting Covid-19 task force members.  

They are said to have been inebriated after drinking beer.

Vu Van Huy, 30, and Vu Van Phong, 27, will spend nine months each in jail while Nguyen Van Tuyen, 26, and Le Minh Thuc, 32, will do so for six months, the court ruled Saturday.

All four were found guilty of "resisting persons in the performance of their official duties," a crime punishable by up to seven years in jail under Vietnam’s Penal Code.

On April 12, Huy, Phong and Tuyen visited Thuc’s house for a party where they drank beer.

On the way back home, the trio drove on a motorbike without helmets and face masks. They were stopped by officers of the Covid-19 task force in Quang Yen Town of the northern province for questioning.

Instead of compiling, the trio got aggressive and abused the task force members. Later, they called Thuc to join the fight against the officers.

Thuc used his phone to film the fight while holding an officer’s hands as his accomplices beat and punched that officer, and then he repeatedly shouted that the police were beating residents.

In other localities, at least six other people have been jailed for between six months and a year in jail for assaulting Covid-19 task force members.

Thousands of people have been fined for violating social distancing norms and leaving homes for "non-essential" reasons.

Of Vietnam's 63 provinces and municipalities, 12 have been classified as carrying high risks of spreading the Covid-19 infection, including the major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as well as Quang Ninh which borders China. In all the 12 localities, the national social distancing campaign has been extended to April 22.  

Vietnam has recorded no new cases of the novel coronavirus for the last four days.

Of the 268 patients diagnosed in Vietnam so far, 61 are still active and the remaining 207 have been discharged. No deaths have been recorded to date.

The Covid-19 pandemic has spread to 210 countries and territories, with more than 165,000 deaths recorded so far.

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